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Donald Ralph Nelles

Donald Ralph Nelles was born on November 24, 1934 to Ralph and Elnora (Kepplinger) Nelles on a farm two miles south of Kaylor, South Dakota. In 1935, his family moved into Scotland, South Dakota. He attended Scotland Elementary and High School graduating in 1952. He went on to complete Mechanic’s School at Southern State College in Springfield in 1953. For a time, Don worked at Scotland Implement, Serr Auto Repair, and went on to work 50 years for Scotland Redi-Mix.
In March 1957, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving active duty in the Seabee’s until 1959. He continued to serve in the inactive reserve and was honorably discharged in 1963. In 1978, Don was united in marriage to Arlene (Hajek) Hamberger. Together they enjoyed spending the weekends camping and fishing. On such a trip, Don caught 2 proud angler walleyes in the Missouri River. They spent their winters in Arizona and Port Aransas, Texas. They enjoyed golfing at the Naval Station at Corpus Christi, TX and also loved watching the big ships come in and out of port. Don and Arlene enjoyed many nights of eating and dancing. In 2014, the couple permanently returned to South Dakota.
Don was a member of the Sportsman’s Club, Scotland Volunteer Fire Department, Lake Henry Restoration, and also served as a Bon Homme County Commissioner for 5 years. He was an active member of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland until its closing and served as an elder for a number of years.
Don passed away on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the Landmann-Jungman Memorial Hospital Avera in Scotland, South Dakota having attained the age of 83 years, 4 months, and 19 days.
He is survived and remembered by his wife of over 40 years, Arlene Nelles of Scotland, SD; stepdaughters: Connie (Gary) Nelson of Sioux Falls, SD and Barbara (Larry) Hubbling of Sioux Falls, SD; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and his sister Cheryl June Bierle of Creston, IA.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 day old infant sister, stepson Ron Hamberger, brother-in-law Duane Bierle, and nephew Jeffery Bierle.

one hour prior to service

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We are so sorry to hear of Don's passing. Ted and I spent many good times golfing and playing cards with Don and Arlene. Port Aransas was our meeting place but hopefully not our last. Rest in peace Don. Arlene know that you are in our prayers and thoughts. You have lost a husband and we have lost a very good friend. "We will Remember Them".

Ted Colledge and Jean Ste Marie Apr 20 2018 10:00 PM

Don was such a special, gentle soul. Having known Arlene, when she ran the hardware store when I moved to the Scotland community in 1972; my husband and I were so thrilled when she married Don in 1978. It was a great match we thought. Don did work for us on the farm and was a pleasant and caring individual. The last time I "waved" at Don, and Arlene, was when they were driving the golf cart through the alley behind my house and I was gardening. They waved and smiled. Don lived the "good" and loyal life for the community and for his wife. An example to us all. RIP.

Marilyn Kokesh Apr 19 2018 9:34 PM

Dear Arlene and family, Our deepest sympathy to you at this sad time. Don will be remembered for his kindness and thoughtful consideration for everyone he met. May the love of family and friends grant you comfort as you celebrate the life of Don. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Marvin and Agnes Thum Apr 16 2018 11:20 PM

Sue and I send our thoughts and prayers to Arlene and the entire family! Don was a a very good person and was always very easy to visit with. God Bless you all!

Sue and Tim Asche Apr 16 2018 3:22 PM

I've known Don all my life, grade school through his life. We played a lot of Pinochle in our High School days three handed along with Ron Treick.. He was always a pleasant man and always used good judgement. He will be missed.

Forrest and Barb Conrad Apr 16 2018 12:08 AM

Don was an impressive man who cared for and loved Arlene and the family. Always very sharp and engaging. We really liked Don and am thankful to God for his time on earth. We pray for the family and friends for healing and joy in remembering the many good memories Don leaves behind.

David and Tracey Grimme Apr 15 2018 9:29 PM